Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday night free association flurries

Do sane people decide to drive 20 minutes for dinner in the midst of the first accumulating snow fall? Who knows. We did, though, and it was hardly worth it. First, we went to one of those nasty buffet places. All three of us had skipped a few meals today - breakfast and lunch. My youngest slept through both, nursing a nasty cold. I wasn't interested in taking a break from work when speed is money and volume, not clock-punching, is the only measure that matters.

So anyway, off to hash house hell. Ever notice the only time you're even remotely entranced by those gigantic-size-fits-all restaurants is during times of extreme hunger?

Anyway...on the way, I suddenly started feeling sick, too. Sore throat, not hungry, stuffy nose. . .so we're three for three in the flu department. Oh, and we did get BNL tickets for Monday's show. Which makes feeling lousy even more lousy, you know?

To make matters more interesting, thoughts of Christmas are making me cry. Happens at the most bizarre times and places, too.

Last night's high school band concert, it struck again, during a rendition of "I Heard the Bells at Christmastime." Though capable, the dirgeful arrangement wasn't at fault. Watching the band, it dawned that these are the same kids I've seen perform since they were in kindergarten. They all looked so mature and filled with promise. The cliche of kids growing-up too fast? All too true. It made me feel wistful, proud and sad at the same moment.

Okay, really? Every year at the kids' band and choir performances I get misty. Because I'm totally lame, a complete and utter marshmallow for cute kids and holiday music. But this year it's different.

For one, it's happening in better-lit, less opportune places --- like on the freeway, listening to John Lennon's Beautiful Boy and (Just Like) Starting Over.

Oh, but these are sad songs, right? Makes sense, you say? Sure. But even Nobody Told Me brings on the waterworks. And it used to cheer me up. . .most peculiar, mama.


Tonight, on the way to dinner, when it nearly happened again, I realized mostly why as I listened to some lyrics, posted at the end of this entry. It just hit me - how extreme is the dissonance between the sadness of what's happening in our world and the usual happiness Christmas brings. I'm caught between uncertainty that I still believe Johnny Rzeznick's final lines and the overwhelming desire to believe them . It's not even a particularly great song, as pop music goes - yet it sums things up beautifully.


Better Days


And you ask me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days
Cuz I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
And desire and love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

So take these words
And sing out loud
Cuz everyone is forgiven now
Cuz tonight's the night the world begins again

And it's someplace simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And thats faith and trust and peace while we're alive
And the one poor child that saved this world
And there's 10 million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them

So take these words
And sing out loud
Cuz everyone is forgiven now
Cuz tonight's the night the world begins again

I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

So take these words
And sing out loud
Cuz everyone is forgiven now
Cuz tonight's the night the world begins again
Cuz tonight's the night the world begins again


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